Central Heating Inhibitor Complete Guide

Your central heating system works overtime to keep you and your home nice and warm during the colder months. And, as a homeowner, you want that your central heating system should heat up quickly, be fuel efficient, affordable to run and keep you warm and comfortable, along with being long lasting.

So, how to ensure that your central heating system works optimally? The simplest and the best way to ensure that your central heating works at its best to heat your home efficiently and lasts long while protecting and safeguarding the radiators, boiler and pipes is to add an inhibitor to your central heating system.

In this article, we have discussed the central heating inhibitor in-depth and given you a complete lowdown of the role it plays in the performance of your central heating system.

Why Is a Central Heating Inhibitor Important?

Typically, a central heating system comprises metal components and pipes, which over time develop rust, limescale deposits, dirt and grime. This results in the formation of thick sludge, which collects in the radiator and at the bottom of the pipes.

Over time, the build-up of sludge causes blockage and prevents warm water from passing through the heating system, preventing the radiators from heating up efficiently.

Also, the blockages can cause corrosion, which leads to the breakdown of the heating system and expensive repairs. The blockage along with the failing components of the system results in the increased usage of gas for the heating system to heat your home because the boilers take longer to heat the radiators.

This makes your central heating system very expensive to operate, while also increasing your carbon footprint.

Also, several manufacturer warranties state that inhibitors must be added to the central heating system and maintained at recommended levels and if the optimal level of inhibitor is not maintained, then your warranty may be invalid. This is where a central heating inhibitor helps.

What Is a Central Heating Inhibitor?

The central heating inhibitor is essentially a chemical solution that helps to protect your central heating system. It is a clear or pale yellow-coloured chemical that contains ingredients such as disodium molybdate, potassium tetraborate tetrahydrate, 2,2′,2”-nitrilotriethanol and sodium nitrate, which helps to breakdown the sludge that has built up in your central heating system and also helps to prevent any future build-up.

The chemicals in the inhibitor break down the rust, dirt and minerals, making them very easy to extract. The inhibitor is usually added to the water in the central heating system and is a vital component, which helps to keep the system working more smoothly and efficiently. It helps to prolong the life of the heating system by preventing breakdowns.

While the inhibitor cannot eliminate the sludge from the heating system, it helps to break down the sludge, allowing you to remove it from the system easily. You need to install a filter to remove the broken-down sludge, which catches and stores all the particles and debris until you get the boiler service and the filter is emptied.

If the heating system has a lot of sludge that has formed over the years, then you may have to first power flush the radiator before adding the inhibitor to prevent sludge build-up in the future.

To ensure that your central heating system functions properly, you should make sure to top up the inhibitor every year. This can help to keep your system clean and working efficiently for up to 8 to 10 years.

Adding a Central Heating Inhibitor to a Sealed System

Adding an inhibitor to your central heating system is quite simple, which you can do very easily on your own. And, in this section, we have discussed a few steps that you can follow to add the central heating inhibitor. You need to understand the type of heating system in your home, which will affect the way to add the inhibitor.

If the heating system is a sealed system with an expansion vessel, then you can add the inhibitor to the heating system through the boiler filling tube instead of adding it to the radiator directly.

However, before adding the inhibitor, you may have to drain some water because, in a sealed system, the water cannot be displaced to make space for the extra inhibitor liquid.

How to Add an Inhibitor to an Open Vented System?

Whether you have an open-vented system or a system with a large-sized water tank along with a smaller expansion tank, the inhibitor must be added to the smaller tank.

Firstly, you must stop the water flowing into the system by turning off the valve or shutting the mains.

Check if the tank is clean and free of any corrosion. If the tank has any rust or limescale deposits, clean it first before adding the inhibitor.

Add the required amount of inhibitor into the tank by following the instructions on the bottle. Turn on the valve or the water mains after adding the inhibitor.

When Should the Central Heating Inhibitors Be Changed?

It is recommended that you change the inhibitor in your central heating every year because, over time, the chemicals in the inhibitor start to break down making it ineffective against rust, mineral and limescale build-up.

It is a good idea to top up the inhibitor every time you drain the system as the inhibitor will drain out along with the water.

So, it is very important to check the levels of inhibitor in the system regularly using a test kit and top up the levels if required. You can easily purchase inexpensive test kits online to test the water in the radiator.

Also, if you notice that your radiator is taking a long time to get heated, then it may be possible that the inhibitor is not working as effectively.

The Benefits of Central Heating Inhibitor

While we have discussed how the use of an inhibitor can help your central heating system, here are the advantages of using an inhibitor at a glance. And, the benefits include:

  • Helps to prevent dirt, debris and rust from collecting in the pipes and radiator.
  • Prevents the system from corrosion and helps to prolong the heater’s life.
  • Prevents faults, blockages and the complete breakdown of the system thus, saving money on repairs and new parts.
  • Helps the radiators to heat up more quickly and makes the system more efficient.
  • Using an inhibitor in a new central heating system helps to prolong the life from the time you install it.
  • Validates the warranty of the boiler.

The Best Central Heating Inhibitor

If you’re shopping for the best central heating inhibitor, it’s important to choose the right type of protector. Consider a high-quality product from a reputable brand that will help to protect your central heating system. Here are some of the top central heating inhibitors that you can consider:

Sentinel X100 Inhibitor

This heavy-duty inhibitor helps to keep your central heating system clean by protecting it from corrosion and limescale. Recommended by the Energy Saving Trust, the pH-neutral formulation of the Sentinel X100 Inhibitor makes it usable in all kinds of central heating systems.

The TripleTech Anti-Corrosion Technology makes the inhibitor suitable for all types of metal systems. The Sentinel X100 Inhibitor helps to extend the life of your central heating system while minimising fuel use and maximising efficiency.

Adey MC 1 inhibitor

Ideal for preventing corrosion and limescale, the Adey MC1 Inhibitor is suitable for all open vented and sealed central heating systems. The upgraded formula of the inhibitor is stronger and is designed to offer stronger, better and increased protection while maintaining the heating efficiency and reducing your heating bills.

Suitable for all types of heating systems, the Adey MC1 Inhibitor comes in a 500 ml bottle that can treat a 100-litre system or up to 10 radiators.

Fernox 56599 F1 Inhibitor

Among the market leaders in central heating systems, the Fernox 56599 F1 Inhibitor offers long-term protection, preventing limescale formation and corrosion of metals such as aluminium, ferrous metal, copper and copper alloys in your central heating system.

The inhibitor is a high-performance product that combines 3 inhibitors and provides superior protection by adhering to the metal in the heating system, prolonging the life of your central heating system and enabling it to function more efficiently.

The Best Boiler Filter to Catch Sludge

Once the central heating inhibitor breaks down the sludge in the system, you need a good magnetic boiler filter to catch the sludge. And, if you want the best boiler filter, read about our top choices.

Magnaclean Magnetic Filter

The Magnaclean Magnetic Filter is guaranteed to offer complete protection to your central heating system by filtering both magnetic, as well as non-magnetic particles effectively.

The filter is very easy to install and easy to maintain, helping you save both time and money. The filter has a long operational life and provides immediate system protection and cuts your heat energy bills by up to 6% per annum.

Salus MD22A Magnetic Filter

This ultra-high-efficiency full-flow magnetic filter is designed for effortless installation and maintenance. It offers immediate results and protects the system as soon as it is installed and removes 100% of the suspended black iron oxide from the heating system. With a 5-year warranty, the Salus MD22A Magnetic Filter helps efficient energy saving.

Fernox TF1 Total Magnetic Filter

The Fernox TF1 Total Magnetic Filter is a magnetic and hydro-cyclonic filter that helps to contain, maintain and remove magnetic, as well as non-magnetic contaminants from the central heating system. Easy to install, the filter fits vertical and horizontal pipework and is very easy to clean.

3 Ways to Protect Your Central Heating System

While a central heating inhibitor plays a vital role in taking care of your central heating system and keeps it working optimally; however, this is not sufficient. To ensure that the heating system is protected, is in top condition and long lasting, here are a few things to do.

Flush Your Radiators

The central heating inhibitor can only work to the extent of breaking down the sludge in the heating system. However, power flushing is required to eliminate the sludge from the system.

Power flushing is essentially the process where the central heating system is flushed using powerful chemicals at very high speeds to dislodge and remove the broken-down sludge and dirt from the system.

Install a Magnetic Boiler Filter

Installing a magnetic filter in the boiler can help to protect it by capturing all the dirt, debris and sludge that is broken down by the inhibitor before they get into the boiler and cause damage. The magnetic filters need annual maintenance and must be cleaned when the boiler is being serviced.

Add a Scale Reducer

If the water in the area you live in is hard, then it may be a good idea to add a limescale reducer, which will help to reduce limescale build-up caused by the natural minerals present in the water.

Limescale build-up can be potentially damaging and cause problems in the heating system, especially if it builds up on the radiators, pipes, thermostat and heat exchanger of the boiler.

Parting Words

In conclusion, the central heating inhibitor is a key player that maintains the health, as well as the longevity of your central heating system.

Not only does the inhibitor help to break down the sludge in the system, but it also protects your system from expensive repairs and failures, while ensuring that your heating is effective, as well as keeping your utility bills low.

Overall, using a central heating inhibitor is an essential step in ensuring that your central heating system is working to its fullest potential.

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Last Updated on June 4, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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